Palio di Siena 2024

Palio di Siena 2024

The Contrada dell’Onda wins a beautiful banner on July 2.

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Fri 05 Jul 2024 12:50 PM

The Palio is the Palio. Difficult to understand, yet easy to love, this historic race in Siena is a miracle every time it happens.

Palio di Siena 4 July 2024. Ph. Fabrizio Camastra
Palio di Siena 4 July 2024. Ph. Fabrizio Camastra

This year, the Palio della Madonna di Provenzano was held on July 4, after being postponed for two days due to heavy rain. The delay did not dampen the enthusiasm for this extraordinary festivity, into which Siena and its locals breathe life and send shivers down your spine. No interruption could dampen the incredible energy that emanates from piazza del Campo when the horses enter the ropes. The contradaioli were disciplined in following the rules of the event, which was exceptional in the way it unfolded. Life hangs in the balance for a few seconds, as both head and heart remain focused on the ten jockeys who fly over the tufa in pursuit of glory.

The start of this year’s Palio, known as la mossa, was a difficult line-up, taking about half an hour, with two false starts due to difficulties entering the verrocchio, the area where the horses line up between the ropes. The Lupa, jockeyed by Andrea Coghe (“Tempesta”) on Zenios did not want to enter the chase, did not flank, and so the mossiere (the race starter) was forced to lower the cord at the third attempt. Something that will certainly spark many a discussion. The Oca started in a flash, followed by Onda, Leocorno and Bruco. Montone stayed close to the ropes, while Nicchio and Pantera began to chase the lead group. Giraffa and Civetta followed. Lupa was last. At the first San Martino turn, Oca was in first place, segued by Onda and Leocorno, but Onda overtook Oca after the first Casato turn. Oca’s horse went wide at the second San Martino turn, while Onda with jockey Carlo Sanna, aka Brigante, made no mistake and secured the victory on Tabacco, the oldest horse in the square, who at 12 years of age has raced seven times, three of them for Onda. The supporters of the contrada with the blue and white flag ran onto the piazza to embrace their heroes, jockey and horse, and to take the beautiful banner designed by Giovanni Gasparro, which was coveted by all.

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